Night Is The New Day, arguably one of Katatonia’s most remarkable albums, is now 10 years old. It’s not often that album anniversaries are celebrated, and usually they are only celebrated by releasing a remastered version which sounds exactly like the original version. Katatonia did a re-release of the album with new artwork and extras that will please the fans, but better yet, they did a tour where they played the album from start to finish which ended at the Islington Assembly Hall in London.
Even before the doors were open there was already a long queue forming outside and as the time for the first band to get on stage approached, it hadn’t moved much and there were fears that a few people were going to miss the start of Wheel’s set. The queue soon began to move quicker and everyone made their way inside on time for the first song.
Wheel got on stage right on time and to an already fairly busy venue which welcomed the band with loud cheers and applause, something unusual for opening acts, which are usually received with not much enthusiasm. Although they have only recently released their debut album back in February, have quickly gained momentum being featured on Spotify’s playlists and going on tour with Soen, and rightly so. The band has a solid progressive sound that at times will sound familiar to some of the greats, but they bring a modern edge to it that makes it their own sound. With every song came excitement from the crowd and a wish for more of what felt like a short setlist.
Coming from Switzerland, Cellar Darling were born out of a line up change of the band Eluveitie, so they already have a good pedigree and reputation. The band already has 2 albums out, with the most recent release The Spell having been released in March this year. Even though all 3 members of the band came from Eluveitie, their music sounds completely different. Yes, there are still some folk elements present, but the way they get incorporated into the songs makes them sound much more like metal, and this is reflected in their live performance. Anna Murphy’s clean vocals are a joy to listen to, and the diversity of instruments used keeps things interesting, while Ivo Henzi’s guitar riffs evoke different emotions throughout the same song. They are both dark, and beautiful at the same time.
Eventually the time came for Katatonia to get on the stage, and the crowd was ecstatic, it turned out to be a sold out show. Going through some online comments before the show, it seemed that a lot of people were uncertain if Night Is The New Day could actually work when played live from end to end. I can see why some people had such concerns, it’s a very emotional album with a few slow songs which might beg for a more intimate type of setting, but I think those thoughts quickly dissipated as soon as the band started playing the opening track of the album “Forsaker”. Song after song, with some introductions by singer Jonas Renkse, the whole album was played as faithfully to the recording as possible with the help of some samples and effects, with plenty of sing-along moments from the crowd.
For the encore, Katatonia played 3 songs from other albums as well as a cover of Judas Priest’s “Night Comes Down”. As this was the last show of the tour, the band then proceeded to take the traditional group photo with the crowd in the background, and gave their guitar pics, drum sticks, setlists and even sweaty wristbands to the fans.
Photos by Luis Rodrigues